At least 15 killed after rebel attacks in Pakistan's Balochistan

Militants, including suicide bombers, attacked Mach and Kolpur complexes in the southwestern province of Balochistan

Reuters
Published : 30 Jan 2024, 08:20 PM
Updated : 30 Jan 2024, 08:20 PM

A separatist militant attack in Pakistan's restive southwestern Balochistan region late on Monday left at least 15 people dead, including two civilians and four law enforcement agents, the Pakistani military said in a statement.

Militants, including suicide bombers, attacked Mach and Kolpur complexes in the southwestern province of Balochistan, the Pakistan military's Inter Services Public Relations agency (ISPR) said. At least nine militants including three suicide bombers were killed, it said.

"Security forces in the vicinity were immediately mobilised who are carrying out ensuing operation," ISPR said.

The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), the most prominent of several separatist groups in the southwestern province of Balochistan, claimed responsibility for the attack.

The group aims to achieve independence for mountainous and mineral-rich Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province by territory but the smallest in terms of population, which has seen a decades-long insurgency.

Balochistan borders Afghanistan to the north, Iran to the west and has a long coastline on the Arabian Sea. It has Pakistan's largest natural gas field and is believed to hold many more undiscovered reserves. It is also rich in precious metals including gold, the production of which has grown over recent years.

Balochistan is a key location in China's huge multi-billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), part of President Xi Jinping's massive Belt and Road infrastructure initiative.